Declan Costello

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Declan Costello
President of the High Court
In office
1 August 1995 – 12 October 1998
Nominated by Government of Ireland
Appointed by Mary Robinson
Preceded by Harry Whelehan
Succeeded by Frederick Morris
Judge of the High Court
In office
1 June 1977 – 3 September 1998
Nominated by Government of Ireland
Appointed by Patrick Hillery
16th Attorney General of Ireland
In office
15 March 1973 – 19 May 1977
Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave
Preceded by Colm Condon
Succeeded by John M. Kelly
Teachta Dála
In office
February 1973 – June 1977
Constituency Dublin South-West
Teachta Dála
In office
May 1951 – June 1969
Constituency Dublin North-West
Personal details
Born Declan John Costello
(1926-08-01)1 August 1926
Fairview, Dublin, Ireland
Died 6 June 2011(2011-06-06) (aged 84)
Beaumont Medical Clinic, Dublin, Ireland
Resting place Shanganagh Cemetery,
Shankill, Dublin, Ireland
Nationality Irish
Political party Fine Gael
Spouse(s) Joan Costello
Children 5
Alma mater Dublin City University

Declan Costello (1 August 1926 – 6 June 2011) was an Irish jurist and Fine Gael politician. He served as President of the High Court from 1995 to 1998, Judge of the High Court from 1977 to 1998 and Attorney General of Ireland from 1973 to 1977, and was a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Dublin North-West constituency from 1951 to 1969 and for the Dublin South-West constituency from 1973 to 1977.[1]

Costello was born in Dublin, the son of John A. Costello who served as Taoiseach on two occasions. He was educated at University College Dublin (UCD), and was an auditor of the UCD Law Society. At the 1951 general election he was elected to Dáil Éireann as a Fine Gael Teachta Dála for the Dublin North-West constituency and was re-elected at every subsequent election until he stood down at the 1969 general election.[2] He stood again in the Dublin South-West constituency at the 1973 general election, and was elected for a final time, to the 20th Dáil.[2]

During the 1960s Fine Gael was out of power and Costello was leader of a new generation of Fine Gael politicians who wanted to move the party to the left. He persuaded the party to publish a document called Towards a Just Society, which supported economic planning and more government intervention in the economy.[3] This document went on to define what Fine Gael stood for over the following twenty years.

When Fine Gael returned to government in 1973, Costello was appointed Attorney General under Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave. He served in that position until 1977, when he finally left politics to become a High Court judge. In 1979 he presided over the Costello Inquiry into the Whiddy Island Disaster. He was appointed President of the High Court in 1994 and retired in 1997. Costello died in 2011.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Mr. Declan Costello". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 21 August 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "Declan Costello". Retrieved 21 August 2012. 
  3. ^ a b "Tributes paid to Declan Costello". RTÉ News. 6 June 2011. 
Legal offices
Preceded by
Colm Condon
Attorney General of Ireland
Succeeded by
John Kelly
Preceded by
Harry Whelehan
President of the High Court
Succeeded by
Frederick Morris